In the first year of this journal (nearly 15 years ago, believe it or not), I wrote an entry about buying a bra. I called it something like "buying a bra is not a spectator sport."
We were visiting out of Davis and I had a "bra emergency." A strap broke or something like that, and I needed to buy a new bra. There were four of us who went in search of a new bra for me, three normal sized people and me. I was taken to a local department store and everyone was going to come in and help me pick out my new bra.
I managed to convince them this was an activity I could do by myself without assistance. Mostly I wanted to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to find something in my size.
I went into the lingerie department and found the bra section. I knew what to expect. I was adrift in a sea of boobie binders. There were plain ones and fancy ones, white ones and all colors of the rainbow. Some were utilitarian and some more provocative. I went to the wall where the larger sizes were and chose the largest bra there. No lacy pink gems for me. I just wanted something that fit.
And, as I suspected, the largest bra in the regular department store was way too small.
I reported back to my cohorts that I had been unsuccessful and we found a fat lady store where I did manage to find something that worked.
Normal sized people can't imagine the difficulties of being a plus-plus size and trying to find clothes that fit. In the days when she still did such things, my mother loved to go shopping and would always try to take me along so she could find something for me to wear, unaware of what a nightmare it was for me.
First you go to the department where the ugly clothes are, then you pick something, not by how you like it and how cute it is, but by the number on the tag and the hope that maybe it will fit.
Next you go to the dressing room, where your physical faults are displayed in depressing floor length mirrors. Then you put on this elephantine thing that you hope is going to fit all right, but it doesn't. You can't believe you have to go and get yet a larger size. If you find something that fits, you buy it just because it fits, not because you fell in love with it on the rack. That's when you check the price and wince at how much you are going to spend on something that you are buying just because it fits, not because you love it.
I must get at least 2 fat lady catalogs a day delivered here and countless "get 'em while they're hot" e-mails every day from the same stores, yet I rarely buy any clothes, except maybe a t-shirt with something on it that I like that I can order from the internet. Even then, I hold my breath when the package comes, hoping that I've chosen the right size. Tops are usually OK, but buying anything for my bottom half is terrible, which is why I have a wardrobe of about 3 or 4 things that I wear all the time, all in black so you can't tell if I'm wearing "good" slacks or sweat pants, unless you notice how baggy they are.
Normal sized people don't have these problems and have fun shopping for something cute to wear to a party. For me, shopping for any clothing is a nightmare and I avoid it at all costs.
If I were rich, I would shop in more expensive stores or have clothes tailored, but since the end result is, like Sarah Palin would describe, like putting lipstick on a pig, I stick to what I think will fit from those catalogs and avoid the unforgiving mirrors in department stores. And I wear the things that fit, especially pants, until they are threadbare to avoid having to go through the process all over again.